‘We’re Not Just Strikers’ – Jhanlo Sangiao Ready To Represent Team Lakay 2.0 At ONE Fight Night 9
Undefeated bantamweight MMA phenom Jhanlo Mark Sangiao will soon have another chance to showcase his ever-evolving all-around game.
The 20-year-old is now entering the final preparations for his April 21 showdown with Argentine standout Matias Farinelli at ONE Fight Night 9: Nong-O vs. Haggerty on Prime Video, which will air live from Bangkok, Thailand, in U.S. primetime.
As the son of legendary Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, “The Machine” possesses the trademark explosive striking that turned his Phillippines-based stable into a global powerhouse, once boating an impressive number of ONE World Champions.
But after scoring a pair of first-round submissions to begin his own ONE career, Sangiao hopes to keep proving that Team Lakay athletes are becoming truly well-rounded mixed martial artists.
He told ONEFC.com:
“I know Team Lakay is known for producing some of the best strikers, but slowly, we’re building something else here in this gym. We’re working on our jiu-jitsu, we’re working on our wrestling, and I believe that the next generation of Team Lakay fighters who’ll compete here in ONE will have wrestling and grappling as their bread and butter.
“However, the striking will always be there. That will always be ingrained within Team Lakay.”
With four submission wins overall on his pristine 5-0 slate, Sangiao is leading his squad’s evolution from striking specialists to all-around mixed martial artists from the front line.
However, that mission will get much more difficult when he battles a true submission specialist in Farinelli, who also boasts a 5-0 record with every victory coming via submission.
Given his foe’s grappling prowess, Sangiao will enter their bout with a chip on his shoulder, ready to show that the next wave of Team Lakay competitors can keep up with anybody on the ground:
“I want to continue to prove that we’re more than just strikers, and Farinelli is the perfect opponent for that. We’ve been criticized by fans a lot, saying that we’re only good at striking but totally lacking on the ground. Now I want to prove that it’s different. We’re focusing on wrestling and grappling.
“The team is inviting a lot of international martial artists, BJJ black belts, Olympic wrestlers, and whatnot, so we’re confident that we can hang with anyone in there from jiu-jitsu, MMA, and striking.”
Sangiao Says ‘Explosiveness’ Will Be Key Advantage Over Farinelli
Widely regarded as one of the most promising young stars in ONE, Jhanlo Mark Sangiao will face the stiffest test of his career against Matias Farinelli.
The 38-year-old from Buenos Aires sports an unblemished professional record and a 100 percent submission rate. But Sangiao – who received his BJJ purple belt from Argentine grappler Cristian Hein – isn’t short on confidence:
“My coach actually told me that I can hang with [Farinelli’s] grappling. We’ve seen his power, his skills in jiu-jitsu, and he told me that I can defend all of those. I guess come fight night, it’s up to me to execute.”
While the Filipino prodigy respects Farinelli’s fight IQ, he believes their clash on April 21 will be decided by athleticism and power, areas where the younger athlete should hold a decided advantage.
“I think he’s a very tight fighter. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. But for me, I think my explosiveness can counter that. I don’t think he can control me because I’m stronger. I’m confident. I don’t think he can control me.”
Naturally, “The Machine” hopes to collect his third straight first-round finish and another US$50,000 bonus check, living up to the lofty expectations surrounding him.
Those things would be nice, he says, but the top priority remains the victory – no matter how it comes:
“The goal is to win. I don’t care if it happens in the first round, second round. All I have in my mind is to win.”